X-citing times for Portrane
A VERY busy Sunday for Portrane Hockey Club saw their Minor Girls squad playing in the Leinster League 4 Final and their X8 Girls squad competing in their decider for the Leinster Leagues Plate.
At the crack of dawn, Portrane HC hit the road - destination Glenageary - where the older girls faced Stillorgan. With only one loss throughout the entire campaign since September, hopes were high. However, Stillorgan were a force to be reckoned with, the match was hard-fought and nothing could separate the sides until an error from a penalty corner saw Stillorgan take the lead.
From then on, Portrane lost their form for a while and their efforts to conjure an equaliser were beaten by the clock, yet the Portrane girls take credit for playing so well.
Not content with getting runners-up medals in the Minor Final, the 'Purple Portrane Parade' decamped from Glenageary to Booterstown to cheer on their X8 squad in their final - and it proved to be well worth the journey.
The game's frantic pace never dipped. Portrane made good use of the roll-on-roll-off subs to ensure no position was left undefended and just before half-time their pressure paid off, with a blinder being belted into the back of Boyne's net. From then on, the defence locked down and cleared every ball - and from all accounts there were many!.
Their midfielders covered every metre of the pitch, keeping the pressure on the tiring opposition. While the parents bit their nails and inhaled their coffee with worry, the girls felt no such nerves and finished worthy winners following a superb display of hockey.
Club development officer Adrian Henchy was keen to praise the girls on their achievement.
'Whilst the Minors lost 1-0 to Stillorgan, it was a game that could easily have gone the other way. The future is bright for this team if they can stick together and they will, no doubt, contest many more cup finals in the future.'
He went on to commend the X8 squad (formerly U-12s).
'They delivered a brilliant team performance to come away with a deserved 1-0 success against a strong Boyne club side. It was a brilliant performance and has given everyone associated with the club a massive lift.
'It is worth mentioning that many of these girls have been with the club since ages Junior/Senior Infants and it is wonderful to see their dedication paying off.
'With no pitch to practise or to play matches locally, I'd like to pay tribute to the players, parents and coaches for their enormous efforts and sacrifices over the last five or so years. It only makes the club renew its efforts to have the all-weather pitch in Donabate repaired and back in use as a matter of urgency.'
Henchy also thanked Ed Van Dreumel, Anita Patterson, Orlaith Read and Stella Davis for all their hard work in coaching the Girls Junior section.
The U14/U16 Boys are also enjoying a great year as they are top of their league and unbeaten all season, while Portrane's S6 squads and 1st-3rd Class teams play a blitz in Skerries next weekend.